Jillian Michaels Weight Loss Supplements?

By Jim F

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I’m not sure what to make of this, but for a number of months now, Jillian Michaels has been pushing her own line of weight loss supplements. She has been riding a wave of success since being the Biggest Loser trainer – which led to her own weight loss program and a series of books and DVDs.

Supplements are whole different thing altogether.The endorsement seems slightly incongruous as Michaels has generally believed in hard exercise and good diet for fat loss.

Two of her primary products are:

  • Jillian Michaels EXTREME Maximum Strength Calorie Control™
  • Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Fat Burner™

A brief look at both of them shows very high amounts of caffeine-based stimulants:
Proprietary Xanthine Complex: 791.00 mg

  • Yerba Mate leaf (llex paraguariensis)
  • Coffee (bean) Extract (Coffea arabica) – standardized to 70% natural caffeine
  • Guarana (seed) Extract (Paullinia cupana) – standardized to 10% caffeine
  • Cocoa (seed) Extract (Theobroma cacao) – standardized to 4% theobromine

Same old same old. While perhaps some people may have found some small benefits from taking these kind of pills, I’m yet to see a long-term success story that featured diet pills.

For those with a long memory, you might remember Dr Phil putting out his own line of supplements. It ended in lawsuits and embarrassment.

Filed in Supplements

22 Comments

  1. Sandi

    I have been a member of the Jillian Michaels website for less than a month and I’m not pleased with the program or the supplements. (1) FOOD… The diet has good food with healthy recipes, but it is not good for someone who is preparing only one serving. Most of the recipes are for 4 – 6 servings. I could condense the recipes for a single serving, but would be spending an outrageous amount of money at the supermarket for ingredients and throwing away a lot of food. I am currently unemployed and money is tight. (2) EXERCISE… I like the circuit training but there are no videos to show the movement. You would think for this price, I would see short videos for each exercise or an entire circuit training session. (3) SUPPORT… The message boards are not easy to use and difficult to read. Most people have so many avatars and awards attached to their message, that you have to read through two pages before you see a question or answer. It’s frustrating.

    I’ve asked for a refund but jillianmichaels.com has refused. When signing up for the program they are quite sketchy about the price of the program. I thought I was signing up for one month but in very small print it says “6 months will be charged”. I can not find the cancellation policies online. It seems to be hidden somewhere. Most businesses in this day and age have learned that staying in business means trying to please your customers. If you ask for a refund, reputable companies comply. I expected more from a website that bears the name of Jillian Michaels.

    If she continues going down this road, using her name for products and websites whose sole goal seems to be just to make money, her name will be tarnished forever. Personally, I’ve lost all respect for her.

    Reply
  2. VoiceOfReason

    So Sorry!! What I meant to say in my second paragraph is:

    IMO, a good multi-vitamin with minerals is just plain common sense. But, to take anything else without fully researching it’s effect FIRST, AND, having the product authorized by your doctor (and NOT a “diet doctor”) is definitely NOT the safest, smartest, and healthiest way to go.

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  3. VoiceOfReason

    As a certified dietician, I would not trust any certified trainer who advocates any kind of “supplement” or “diet aid”. As far as I know, there is nothing beyond a good, balanced diet and exercise to lose weight, tone, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    IMO, a good multi-vitamin with minerals is just plain common sense. But, to take anything else without fully researching it’s effect FIRST, AND, having the product authorized by your doctor (and NOT a “diet doctor”) is the safest, smartest, and healthiest way to go.

    Just remember, as much as we want there to be, there is NO quick fix. It took years to gain the weight, and it won’t (shouldn’t) come off in a week or two.
    It’s the hard work that will pay off… physically, mentally, and spiritually. Please don’t discount this method!

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  4. shredded surfer

    I am not sure why so many people have the impression that Jillian did not endorse supplements. She did not ever really speak to them on TBL one way or the other. She does endorse weightloss and fitness that is sustanable and not jumping on some fad. But if you read any of her work I think that she is a strong advocate of suppliments for those that are willing to committ to proper exercise and diet and are looking the edge… whether it be for a quick shred before and event (she talks about this at the end of her books for people that dont just read the first 10 pages).

    I’m pretty sure if those of you that think it is a money grab were to look into it you would find when and why Jillian endorses suppliments. But like typical couch potatos people claim suppliments are not sustainable longterm… what makes anyone think any high profile knowledgable trainer is advocating suppliments 3 times a day 365 days a year as the magic potion! Use of suppliments is usually reserved for people that are ready to committ to a active and healthy life style and suppliment their workouts with knowledgable choices. Suppliments can help get an edge!

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  5. botgurl

    I think Jillian Michaels views herself as a brand now and is riding a wave of popularity. Unlike the other trainer on the TBL, her name is everywhere. Surf the web and you’ll see more Jillian Michaels advertising popups than Netflix popups!

    All this exposure doesn’t necessarily equal good advice in my book, but she will probably motivate a lot of people to do something about their health/weight.

    Hopefully there is nothing in the supplements that can make people ill.

    Reply
  6. FitJerk - Flawless Fitness Blog

    @Mike

    Both oils should work nicely but I’ve just heard more personal success stories when flaxseed oil was used in conjunction with weight loss.

    Reply
  7. helpful

    I too am disappointed to see this. It seems very contradictory to what she tells people on the show, and also in her books. But she seems to put out so many books, DVDs, etc. that it’s hard to keep track.

    Reply
  8. Jody - Fit at 52

    I hear ya! I work out at some very crazy hours when I should be sleeping!

    Reply
  9. Barry

    Define ‘natural’.

    Reply
  10. Barry

    The “EC Stack” is a classic. Ephedrine & Caffine. 25 grams of Ephedrine and 200 grams of caffine, three times a day. Start off with one dose, and work your way up to 3. It will give you maybe a 5% boost in your metabolic rate. Of course, some people don’t tolerate it well and feel anxious and have trouble sleeping.

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  11. Paul

    There’s good reason why the retailers of weight loss supplements have been jamming their products chock-full of caffeine for years…

    1) Caffeine is an established thermogenic. While not providing dramatic results, there is some evidence caffeine raises the metabolic rate and increases calorie burn…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2912010

    2) Caffeine cheaply and effectively address the number one complaint of dieters; fatigue. Many people find products like this helpful, simply for the added “zip” it gives them. If it helps them to get to the gym, it’s more likely their weight loss efforts will be successful. Apparently, that’s benefit enough for most people.

    There is, however, no real benefit to deriving your caffeine content from 4 different herbal sources, other than to make the product appear more “cutting edge” and “sophisticated” than it is.

    In regards to the Jillian Michael’s offering we reviewed (The Extreme Maximum Strength Fat Burner)…

    http://www.ultimatefatburner.com/jillian-michaels-extreme-fat-burner.html

    … this is an extremely mediocre product. Any ingredients for which any positive clinical data exists are extremely under-dosed, and are present only as “label dressing.” This product is, in essence, an over-priced caffeine pill.

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  12. Erin

    Yes, I am confused…as a fan of the biggest loser, I thought Jillian promoted 100% natural way to weight loss. I guess when you are making bank on endorsements, you may change your tune a little! Kinda sad. Why not just have a cup of coffee or tea?

    Reply
  13. Mike Howard

    Caffeine does have an ergogenic effect and anectdotally, I definitely feel more “pumped” for my workouts on a slight caffeine buzz. It depends on the time of day I workout though. In the early am’s, sometimes I need that “boost” to power me through heavier things ; )

    Reply
  14. Mike Howard

    FJ,

    Just curious, why flaxseed oil instead of fish oil? Or do you do/recommend both?

    Reply
  15. FitJerk - Flawless Fitness Blog

    Caffeine
    Ephedrine (use it responsibly)
    Green Tea Extract
    Flaxseed Oil

    Then there are a crap load of others but those aren’t promising enough or convincing enough for me to recommend. These are tried and true… with a proper program that is.

    Reply
  16. Jody - Fit at 52

    A lot of people have coffee or something with caffeine before they work out. The thing with Jillian is that she was always talking about not using this stuff so for her to come out now with this is somewhat disappointing to people whether one wants to use it or not. I think it has to do with their perception of her before.

    Reply
  17. B

    The white willow bark is to thin the blood to transport the caffiene, not to help with soreness :)Also caffiene is a thermogenic and speeds up the metabolism (not just to encourage you towork harder!).

    Reply
  18. yesPecan

    I’m an avid listener to Jillian’s radio show and heard her talk about her supplements – not that she was promoting it – it wasn’t even in the market yet, but her idea is that when caffeine is used 40 mins before a workout, it will stimulate you to work harder and thus burn more calories. I’ve used the one she recommended, tho no name was mentioned. She just said, go to GNC and get the one with yellow and purple caps that has guarana [caffeine] and white willow bark [aspirin’s cousin to help with soreness after]. Now, why did she come up with her own line? Because she wanted to have something that is organic and does not have artificial colors in them – not sure if her dream came true… will have to read the reviews 😛 I believe they do not allow TBL contestants to use drugs of any sort – there was an issue a few seasons ago and the contestants have to get their urine samples checked weekly, etc, by physicians. Anyway, I think for those who are starting out, it’s best NOT to use these supplements yet, but for those who do extreme workouts 5x or more a week, this is great as a boost. I myself have taken something similar prior to my workouts but have not lost the last 6lbs, let alone people who don’t workout 😛 BTW, drink LOTS of water after taking caffeine pills or you’ll be sorry.

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  19. mdw

    What supplements do you recommend for fat loss? Are there any that you have tried and have had success with?

    Reply
  20. FitJerk - Flawless Fitness Blog

    Hmm… not the most potent propriety mixture I’ve seen but whatever. I don’t see what’s with the hate and sh*t. As long as she’s not marketing it as the “silver bullet” solution, it’s all good.

    Supplements taken by themselves don’t do much. But incorporate the proper ones with a solid workout program and consistent eating habits and you’ll see some results and you’ll see them faster.

    But too many tools don’t understand this “double sworded” nature of supplements.

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  21. Nicola

    I agree with you about Jillians diet pills and I feel really strongly that people need to be owning their weight and there loss of weight and really the only way to do that is through knowing what you eat and how you use your body. Being encouraged to understand food and how it works would be so much more productive.

    Reply
  22. Spectra

    I was wondering about these supplements as well. She was on some talk show and said that this year on TBL, the contestants were allowed to use them and they lost more weight with them. I think it’s BS that Jillian’s team uses supplements and Bob’s team does it the old-fashioned way. It makes me even madder that Jillian would promote something like this. I can almost forgive Kim Kardashian coming out with her Quicktrim crap because she knows zilch about losing weight, but Jillian KNOWS these things don’t work long term and she is just getting money-hungry.

    Reply